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A bruising end to The Last Emperor’s MMA reign of excellence

By Zach Arnold | February 13, 2011

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Video by and Ariel Helwani

“I’m very, very happy right now. This is the fruit of a lot of hard work with my camp, with all the guys who trained hard with me and I’m very, very happy.”

That’s how Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva described his win over Fedor in the Strikeforce HW GP on Saturday night at the Izod Center. Alex Davis, Bigfoot’s manager, has recently been going through a very rough period in his life and found the proverbial rainbow thanks to Bigfoot’s stomping of the former PRIDE gaijin ace.

“I can’t even describe how I feel. We always joke, me and win, one day we’re going to get to the beach and we finally got there.”

When asked if he was surprised that the doctors stopped the fight before round three Bigfoot exclaimed, “Yes, but when I looked him at the other side of the ring I saw that his eye was very swollen and I would have caused more damage to his eye and end up hurting him bad.”

He also felt that it was the doctors and not Fedor who called for the stoppage. “It certainly wasn’t him, he’s fought the best, he’s beat the best, and he wouldn’t ask to stop it. It had to be the doctors.” As for whether or not the fight should have been stopped earlier, “I don’t think so because a good fighter has to fight in the good and the bad and he’s an excellent fighter, he knows how to fight and weather the storm.”

Even with Fedor not fighting with 100% fighting spirit heading into the bout, Bigfoot says that he fought the best Fedor he could possible, “but I also worked very hard. I trained very hard for this fight so I deserved the victory.”

Bigfoot has gone through some setbacks in his MMA career (including that now-forgotten failed drug test). It’s taken him a long time to earn respect from MMA fans, although Alistair Overeem gave him at least a 40% chance of winning Saturday’s fight. As for earning respect, “It takes a while. You have to beat the best. I’ve shown the world that I can do it and you just have to keep on fighting to be the best.” As for whether or not Fedor will retire, “No, I don’t think so. I think he has a lot to show, still. I think he’s going to come back, fight again, and he’s going to come back better and he’s still going to do a lot of good fights.”

Silva’s win means that he gets to face the winner of the upcoming Alistair Overeem/Fabricio Werdum fight, whenever that takes place. “I wouldn’t like to fight Werdum, he’s a Brazilian, he’s my friend,” but concluded his statement by saying that he’s glad that the GP will have a Brazilian in the final.

As Antonio Inoki would say, it’s all about the fighting spirit

It doesn’t matter whether you are at the top of your game in acting or athletic competition, the great ones always have that will to make themselves better day-in and day-out. Once that fire is gone, the skills erode very quickly. If you don’t evolve and you don’t have the drive & determination to be the best, MMA can be a very dangerous and punishing sport.

I am reminded of comments that Alistair Overeem made in an ESPN interview right before Saturday night’s Izod Center show. Overeem’s rise in the Heavyweight rankings has drawn as much ire from online MMA fans as Fedor’s rise and stature in the business has. Here’s a passage from that ESPN interview that I wanted to point out:

JON ANIK: “Well, you’re a much different fighter than the guy who fought Fabricio Werdum and was submitted back in 2006. Is he the toughest opponent for you in the Strikeforce Heavyweight division? Who do you see as the best guy, other than yourself?”

ALISTAIR OVEREEM: “I think all the other fighters are going to be very motivated. I think for everybody,it’s their chance to show who’s the number one. So, everybody’s going to be very trained, very motivated, so that makes everybody very dangerous. The thing is, I just have to be the most dangerous.”

JON ANIK: “In terms of avenging that loss against Fabricio Werdum, can you glean anything from that past fight? Do you even go back and look at it when you’re preparing for this next fight?”

ALISTAIR OVEREEM: “No, I don’t really look at older fights. I don’t really look at that much fights, at all. I will prepare as I always do and I’ve grown as a fighter. I know what I can do and what I can’t. Fabricio’s also grown as a fighter, he’s done some great stuff like his last victory against Fedor. So, it’s going to a very interesting fight and I can promise you, to the fans I will not disappoint you.”

Overeem trains with some of the best fighters in the world in the Golden Glory camp. He has the desire to be number one. That is a great combination to have along with size, speed, and skill. The total package.

What was clear after Saturday night’s loss to Bigfoot Silva is that Fedor’s skills have eroded. He isn’t training with the best guys in the world. (Fabricio Werdum made some good points about this in a post-fight interview at “The problem with Fedor now is the camp. … He’s not the same as before.”) He’s taken an unbelievable amount of punishment in recent fights. Hell, there are many questioning whether or not he’s even fighting in the right weight class at this point. Without a Cruiserweight division, he’s more suited for 205 pounds than he is for the bigger, faster, stronger Heavyweights in the MMA world in 2011. The margin for error amongst the elite MMA fighters is so small that any little disadvantage can be quickly exploited. Even the great ones can be humbled and punished.

Which is not to say that there are many who are trying their best to write chapters of revisionist history about Fedor’s MMA career.

After Saturday’s fight, Mr. Overeem summarized it this way:

“Well, a hard battle. A hard fight. A very convincing fight for Silva. He wore him down, he damaged him, and then after the second round he couldn’t continue. Was it a big shock? No. … Like I said, it was not a really big shock. I gave him a 50/50 (chance) because Silva’s very motivated and his team around him is strong. Fedor didn’t seem that motivated. Here in the States it seems that he is not really into all the media attention, you can read it a little bit on his face. But, he fought like a lion today and he showed what he is worth, he didn’t give up. So, he’s a true warrior.”

Many questions now raised

Vadim Finkelchtein, Fedor’s manager for M-1, made it clear that he thinks Fedor will fight again. Scott Coker said that if an injury happened in the tournament that he would like to see Fedor fight again in the tournament. You can smell the desparation and markdom from here. I’m still amazed that in 2011, so many people seem to have their entire futures tied in the hands of one fighter.

Don’t get me wrong. If you want me to bash Fedor, go to another site and find someone who will do that. However, putting all of your eggs in one basket never has made sense in the MMA promoting game.

There’s a lot of questions for fans, insiders, and others to ask. How many fights did Vadim’s managing delay in Fedor’s career? What would Fedor have looked like in the UFC as opposed to Strikeforce? Would Randy Couture have beaten him when those two were hankering to fight each other a couple of years ago?

The biggest question to me deals with Scott Coker. What now? Fedor was obviously a bargaining chip he had to try to run an event in Japan. What about upcoming GP shows? Why aren’t announcements being made on this front? (Werdum says that he has not been told where he will be fighting Overeem two months out, but says that he prefers fighting in America as opposed to Japan.) Why does the promoter continue to be so emotionally invested in one fighter over the rest?

The Overeem/Werdum fight is going to be tons of fun and I am excited to see it. Interestingly enough, I don’t think either man is all that excited about the prospects of facing Bigfoot Silva. At this point in 2011, Silva’s harder to beat than Fedor. The truth. As for the other side of the HW bracket, things are playing out exactly as expected. Josh Barnett just saw one obstacle fall down on the other side of the bracket. Things are looking good for him. Is Showtime ready to build their MMA promotion around someone who Scott Coker is going to have to constantly commission shop for?

Topics: M-1, Media, MMA, StrikeForce, Zach Arnold | 37 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

37 Responses to “A bruising end to The Last Emperor’s MMA reign of excellence”

  1. 45 Huddle says:

    1) PPV is now no longer an option. Fedor was the key to the entire thing. It didn’t matter who else won b

    2) mma logic on The UG said the parent company of SF is shopping around right now.

    3) Wanting Fedor back in the tournament is laughable. He is washed up. He has no business in there against most of those guys in 2011.

    4) If Coker let’s Arlovski fight for him again he should be ripped apart by the media for exploiting a shot fighter who is only going to get mote brain damage.

    5) M-1 is still the co-promoter on the rest of the tournament. What a joke.

    6) This tournament is quickly looking like a bad idea. There more recognizable names are gone and it’s hard to even promote them when the tournament is still going on (not to mention they should retire).

    Coker is in over his head. This is what happens when he continues to promote with a boxing model. There is too much downside to constantly promoting one fighter over the other time and again.

    • Steve4192 says:

      “mma logic on The UG said”

      Damn it 45, Stop quoting that guy.

      He is a know-nothing astroturfer with an AWFUL record of predicting what his own employer (Zuffa) will do, much less what other promotions will do.

  2. cyph says:

    Did Fedor really lost a step? In MMA, when fighters consistently fight top competition, it’s almost impossible to stay undefeated.

    For Fedor, the best big man he’s fought was Nogueira and Tim Sylvia. Everyone else was talentless freakshows. His greatest claim to fame during the Pride era was beating CroCop, another undersized HW and Nogueira three times. That in itself is impressive. Mark Coleman, Kevin Randleman, and Matt Lindland–do any of these compare to the modern HW fighters?

    Every former PRIDE fighter who has come over, gets handed and all of a sudden “lost a step”: CroCop, Wanderlei, Big Nog, etc. I’m not trying to be revisionist here. Fedor was the greatest of his era. However, let’s chalk his loss up to superior competition, his out-of-date game-planning and his stubbornness to not bring in elite training partners.

    Fedor looked sharp and was fine in the 1st round. It was when Silva took him down, used size and weight to his advantage that Fedor had no answer for. It was superior game-planning using a fighter’s physical advantage to win.

    Fedor has shown he’s mortal ever since he fought here, even if his fans refuse to accept the obvious: Arlovski ran circles around him until the glass jaw failed him, Brett Rodgers almost pulled the same thing Silva did but he lacked the size and skill to take advantage. Werdum and now Silva has figured him out.

    Fedor lost, no–was dominated by a better, bigger fighter who had better training and a better game-plan. Fedor’s game plan of getting beat up until he lands the miraculous KO punch or armbar doesn’t work any more. I’m not dancing on his graves. The guy is still extremely talented, but the modern HW division is just not for him. He can still be competitive with 90% of the division, but the elite are just too big and strong for him. He and CroCop are still fighting against the law of physics. Fedor should really drop to 205.

    • Joe says:

      I agree Cyph. Fedor did not seem fully prepared for a guy with Silva’s combination of size and skill. Fedor had at least one, maybe two solid hip escape attempts in the second round where he got out to his side, had an underhook, but just couldn’t push Silva over. He also tried at least once to squeeze out the back door, but Silva’s length wouldn’t allow him to get all the way out.

    • klown says:

      Cyph’s comments and his analysis of the fight are spot on.

  3. David M says:

    “4) If Coker let’s Arlovski fight for him again he should be ripped apart by the media for exploiting a shot fighter who is only going to get mote brain damage.”

    Liddell, Chuck. Stop trolling.

    • edub says:

      Chuck Liddell? The guy he called on for retirement before his last two fights?

    • IceMuncher says:

      Dana White was pressuring Chuck to retire harder than anyone else.

      • And he kept on giving him fights anyways. Really tough love.

        • edub says:

          He gave him one fight than after he got beat by Shogun he called for his retirement. After that Chuck took over a year off to let his head clear and refocus on training. He came back better than before, but still to chinny to be dangerous. After this he pressured Chuck into retiring.

          He didn’t keep giving him fights when it was clear Chuck had slowed down.

        • If you want to send a message that you should retire, you threaten to cut the guy, not offer him fights because he keeps asking. I have no issue with him giving Chuck a ceremonial role to collect a paycheck forever personally though.

        • edub says:

          He did threaten to cut the guy off. What do you think all that talk about him telling chuck before the franklin fight that he needed to come look good or he should retire was all about?

        • Alan Conceicao says:

          He went from “Its over” following the Shogun fight to another fight a year later. If you want to try to force a guy to retire, threaten to cut him. Make someone else give him that brain damage. My only guesses as to why he didn’t is that it A) would have given someone like Strikeforce the opportunity of signing a name fighter B) personal devotion to Chuck.

          In the end, I don’t think you help anyone by paying them to fight.

        • edub says:

          Your agreeing with everything I said two posts ago, except trying to use it as different argument. He said Chuck was done after the Shogun fight, and Chuck went and pleaded with him for one more shot. He gave him a year to clear his head, get back into shape, and get that fire back to compete. On top of that he tried to give him a favorable match up. Instead tito got hurt, but Dana still found him a relatively light puncher in Rich Franklin. Chucks chin never recovered, and Dana pushed him into retirement.

          He’s done a perfect job with Chuck up until this point. Now if Chuck asks for a comeback fight in a year or two down the road, and Dana obliges (because it will still make money) than he would be in the wrong.

  4. Joe says:

    I never understood why the second group of quarterfinals is two months after the first group. Aside from the obvious semifinals issues this creates, it’s a lot of time for fans to forget about the Strikeforce tournament. Imagine if that card was two or three weeks from now. We’d already be looking ahead to Overeem and Barnett instead of dwelling so much on the Fedor thing.

    Also, more significantly, to me Strikeforce made the same huge mistake last night that they made with King Mo-Feijao. If you’re smart, big losses like last night’s should turn the upset winner into a new star. Instead, people only seem to be talking about “the King Mo hype train derailed” and “Fedor done?” Bigfoot looks like a freaking James Bond villain come to life! Yet, where the UFC so deftly prepared Cain for stardom before his fight with Brock, Strikeforce is left holding its pee-pee with Bigfoot and Feijao.

    • klown says:

      Good points.

    • IceMuncher says:

      That’s always been Strikeforce’s biggest problem. They lose momentum between shows and they always seem to book their fights in such a way that they wind up with a horse in the race, so to speak, which has burned them so many times that I’m surprised they still do it.

      They should have booked Silva vs Overeem and Werdum vs Fedor. Werdum vs Fedor is win/win; if Werdum wins, the “fluke” talk goes away and most fans and media consider him a legit top 3 talent (incorrectly I might add, but I digress), and if Fedor wins he avenges his only loss and moves on in the tournament. Now with Silva’s upset, the whole tournament lost its luster. The winner of Overeem and Werdum is going to be a heavy, heavy favorite to win the whole thing.

      • “The winner of Overeem and Werdum is going to be a heavy, heavy favorite to win the whole thing.”

        Depends on how Barnett looks against Rogers.

      • Joe says:

        Everybody complains how Strikeforce needs to develop talent better, how they shouldn’t rely on PRIDE & UFC castoffs, how they get a good prospect like Woodley but they don’t seem to know what to do with him, etc. Well, Bigfoot Silva should be every promotion’s dream– he’s huge, still relatively young, he has legit top 10 skills, he has a very compelling look, great nickname, can speak some English, seems to be improving every fight– yet when he gets in a big fight they act like he’s some shithead can. He’s your future, you idiots!

  5. Sundog says:

    You’re right about the desperation and markdom, but on the other hand, if one of the semi-finalists gets hurt in training, would you really put Shane Del Rosario in that slot instead of Fedor? There’s a lot of tunnel vision going on, but there are also some business realities here.

    • Steve4192 says:

      More importantly, Japanese tournaments (which this tournament is modeled after) have always worked that way.

      When Paulo Filho got injured in the Bushido WW grand prix, they didn’t replace him with an alternate. They replaced him with a guy who lost earlier in the tournament. When Eddie Alvarez got hurt in the DREAM LW grand prix, they didn’t replace him with an alternate. They replaced him with a guy who lost earlier in the tournament.

      Bringing a losing fighter back in the event of an injury is not at all unusual for Japanese-style tournament. It’s standard procedure. The people bitching about it are either ignorant of how these things have worked in the past or they are bitching for the sake of bitching.

      • Joe says:

        Yeah, but it says something very different when you bring back Joachim Hansen, who lost a competitive fight with Alvarez, and you bring back Fedor, whose promotional company is on the tournament logo.

      • 45 Huddle says:

        Or option 3. They didn’t like when it was done in Japan and thought that stupid practice was over when JMMA died.

      • robthom says:

        “…Japanese tournaments (which this tournament is modeled after)…”

        It is?
        Corruption and everything?

      • Phil says:

        I think it all comes down to the timing. These things worked in Japan because usually every round had all the fights at once. If Fedor is able to come back from a beating and those injuries because he has an extra 2 months to heal that Overeem/Werdum/Rogers/Barnett don’t have, people will have a legitimate gripe.

        I really wish the Paril fights were in a week or 2, it would make the possibility of putting Fedor back in a lot easier to handle.

        Another problem with this is that even though Coker mentioned that losers could be used as injury replacements when the rules were announced, like several other things, SF did a bad job of getting the message out and now it seems like some special bending over for Fedor when if they had better PR it would not be a big deal.

    • Talking about business realities, there are two things this tournament is being sold on:

      1. Star power
      2. Legitimacy

      In one night, Strikeforce lost two of its four biggest name stars in the tournament, and one of its two major draws (the other being Overeem).

      So basically what you have left is Overeem and legitimacy. If they were to bring Fedor back into the tournament after the beating he took in that fight, they completely negate that key drawing aspect of laying claim to a clear-cut #1 Heavyweight.

      Bringing Fedor back into that tournament will put Strikeforce against its word to use alternates (who had to fight their way for into spot mind you) and put in a guy who’s clearly done as an elite fighter into a situation in which he doesn’t belong.

      Fedor’s not just done as an elite heavyweight, he’s done as a draw. Even before last night, I had trouble swallowing that there would be enough casual mainstream fans who would buy a pay-per-view headlined by Fedor to warrant the concessions Strikeforce has made in attaining his services. Now? Forget about it.

      • David M says:

        Meh, Liddell, Couture, and Tyson remained draws well after they stopped being top level fighters. The reaction Fedor always gets is crazy. I don’t know what the PPV market is for a non-UFC ppv, but I don’t think losing changes the fact that he is a legend and can still draw.

        • 45 Huddle says:

          Holyfield still boxes. Nobody wants to see him fight. He is an extreme example, but there comes a time when even a fighters biggest supporters just dont want to see them take the abuse anymore.

          Fedor looked so bad his last 2 fights that it is likely to happen sooner then later. Not to mention his price tag was already outrageous for his drawing potential. If he can’t even draw the same gate he is in a world of trouble from a promotional stand point.

        • Fedor was never a draw stateside on the level of Couture, Liddell, or Tyson.

          And before anyone screams about how he wasn’t on American pay-per-view at his peak – yes. Exactly.

        • Fedor’s PRIDE events weren’t on PPV? InDemand robbed my ass then.

      • robthom says:

        I’ll take legitimacy over starpower.

        A “star” should be built on legitimacy, not the other way around.

  6. robthom says:

    Well if its Silva vs. Verdum/Alistair in the next round (i didn’t know that the bracket paths were already set), then I guess that means Sergei/barnett.

    barnett cant outstrike Kharatonov, when Sergei is on.
    barnett cant get Kharatonov in one of his goofy shootfighter subs, when Sergei is on.
    barnett probably has better wrestling/rasslin but Sergei should be able to avoid it getting there, if he’s on.

    The only way barnett beats Kharatonov IMO, is if Kharatonov beats Kharatonov.

    Please please pull the cranius out into the sunlight if just for that one fight Sergei!

    “Fedor was checked last night and seemed fine this morning, in good spirits and walking around in sunglasses like a HOLLYWOOD STAR,” Kogan said.

    God, please muzzle everybody in M1.
    Except Fed of course.

    Glad fed is okay, and I dont have a problem with him trying again.
    He’s not physically shot.

    But scooching him back into this GP in front of all the other young tigers who won their Alternate fights like Rosario, and then presumably blaming it on this arbitrary “special commision” is vomit inducing.

    Plus the fact that I think Fed will only be drawing out his dissolution as a competitor and the defacing of his legacy until he first addresses the cancer of his handlers and pimps at M1.

  7. IronMonkeyNHB says:

    I disagree with a lot of people here, who think the tournament lost its appeal. So what was the purpose of the tournament anyway? To prove Fedor is the best HW, or to see who the best HW is in general? If you want to prove Fedor is the best, you could have easily let all those guys fight each other and then given Fedor the winner. That´s not the the goal here. I think the tournament is still very interesting. I am anxious to see how Kharitinov does against the winner of Barnett/Rogers. I want to see who will win out of Werdum and Overeem and how the winner will do against Silva. The final should be a blast no matter what. Plus, if Fedor decides to keep fighting, the loser of Werdum or Overeem could face him possibly in the summer and there is nothing wrong with Fedor/Werdum II. The tournament is still very interesting and only haters like 45 Huddle who aren´t real MMA fans will continue to complain and bark. There has to to be something really twisted in your head, if you are always just looking for things to criticize.
    As far as Fedor is concerned and why he´s not the fighter he used to be, I think there are more than one or two factors that play a role here.
    1. His age. Let´s face it, he´s 35, which is not old, but also not young in this sport.
    2. The drive is not there anymore. Fedor has been to the top of the mountain and felt the amazing rush it gives to fight infront of 50K+ fans in Japan. He reached everything a fighter can reach 5 years ago. I also believe he loved fighting in Japan over everything and might not enjoy fighting in the U.S. and all the media attention it requires.
    3. Religion. Whether you believe in a God or not, Christian, Muslim or whatever, it´s well known and observable, that people lose a lot of thirst for material gains, once they become spiritual. Suddenly being the best fighter in the world, while bashing people heads in, might not be the most important thing in your life. Look at the aggression in Fedor´s face, while he watches Mirko LHK his brother, while he was backstage watching the rest of the show. It´s not there anymore. He´s still ultra aggressive when fighting and he will try to take you out, but he´s also very spiritual and might not be interested in even getting into that situation.
    4. Training. I think Fedor doesn´t like change. He´s still training with the same methods as he used to in 2001. While the entire MMA world is evolving and looking for more and better ways to improve, Fedor might have made the mistake and not pursued superior training methods and sparring partners. This might actually be the most important factor, besides losing his thirst.
    Fedor was known for his brutal GnP and slick submissions. In the first part of his career he was more of a ground fighter, in the latter he became a KO artist. When was the last time Fedor had to spend an entire round on his back? He found himself in a foreign situation against Silva. The opponents he has had in the last 4 years aren´t on par with the opponents he faced in the first 5 years. It´s the simple truth. One has to distinguish Fedor the fighter and what he is capable of and Fedor´s actual opponents in the last 4 years. I respect a man that does his own thing and doesn´t let anybody tell him what to. If Fedor felt that the contracts in the UFC put him at a disadvantage, then more power to him. He did make a nice lump of cash whenever he fought and never had to depend on the UFC. However, I wonder how Fedor´s career would have went if he had signed with the UFC when they bought out Pride. Fedor put his career in the hands of M-1 and although they gave him financial security with the deals they made, they didn´t give him the career he deserved. He should have been the UFC HW Champion, but was robbed of that opportunity by the decision his management made.
    Of course you also have to admit that he lost his first fight against one of the best BJJ fighters in MMA and was really undersized against Bigfoot. Some people pointed it out, Fedor looked small. He´s definitely lost muscle substance and has kept the belly. People keep saying he always looks like that, but it´s simply not true. Fedor was always on the chubby side, but he´s always had a strong structure underneath. It didn´t appear so last night and hasn´t really appeared so in a long time. His strength might be enough for a Andrei or Rogers, but when you have to move 285 lbs. around on top of you, every muscle tissue counts and you don´t want to make THAT fight the one you come in a bit weaker than usual.
    He “could” regain the determination and fire, but is it likely? He could train harder, with a better camp, etc. But will he? Will he learn to compromise between faith and battle? Would possibly consider moving to the west and learning from some of the best coaches in the business?
    Fedor went from „greatest“ to good. There are still enough fights left for him and I´d be excited to see each one, but unless he works on the things that have gone wrong in the past few years, he might continue to lose against the best.
    No need to start arguing about his record and accomplishments. Fedor beat the two best HWs of his era in Nog and Mirko and that is enough to seal his legacy as the best HW of his time (mid 2000). His record was not as impressive as some might want to make it out to be, but that´s how it is. If you have 30+ fights on your record, not every one of them is going to be a top 10 opponent. Important is how he faired against the best fighters he faced and should be judged by that.
    Fedor might actually retire and he doesn´t strike me as a person who would “consider” it, without following through. If he does come back, the loser of Werdum and Overeem is a possible opponent or maybe Kharitonov or Barnett, depending which on makes it to the finals. I´d be fine with any decision, but if he does continue to fight, he WILL have to work on those weaknesses.

  8. robthom says:

    “I disagree with a lot of people here, who think the tournament lost its appeal. So what was the purpose of the tournament anyway? To prove Fedor is the best HW, or to see who the best HW is in general?”


    People can argue about the loss of Fed from a promotional/popularity stand point if they want, but I wasn’t watching it for its promotional merits.

    I think its moving along just fine.

    I actually prefer to have Silva move forward as long as Fed moving forward meant moving forward with M1 in tow.

    The only things I regret about the progress so far are barnett getting an easier route to possibly fluke into the final, and the possibility of shunting Fed back in.

    I can understand that they really want to get their billion dollars or whatever they’ve paid out of him, but if they do that it will be the most offensive thing I’ve seen in MMA (outside of Japan of course), since the UFC rehired tito and made him coach on TUF.

    That was the last time I watched TUF.
    (Except for the jackson/Evans season.)

    As far as why Fed isn’t what he used to be, I lay it all squarely at the feet of M1.

    Your points:

    1. His Age.

    He would still be his age, but his skills would not have prematurely atrophied like they have without sitting on the shelf in between periodically squash matching for M1’s benefit.

    2. The Drive.

    In not there anymore because he hasn’t actually “competed” for 5 years. M1 have squandered 5 years of his life and career marketing his AGAIST his personality as a name brand and “hollywood star” instead of as an athlete.

    3. Religion.

    His Biz.
    But I dont think he’s recently discovered or become swept away with it like Vitor and jackson has he?

    And I’ll blame that on M1 too.
    If they flucked up my career and life like they’ve done to his then I’d need religion too.

    4. Training.

    Once again, if he would have been competing for the last 5 years instead of being kept in a box and molested by M1 like the gimp then he would have been training to compete and staying up to date with the trends and needs to stay competitive.

    Basically its all M1’s fault.

    They’re the Yoko Ono to Fedors John Lennon.

  9. IceMuncher says:

    I’ll explain why the tournament lost its luster. Tournaments are supposed to get tougher as you advance through the rounds, as the cream rises to the top and starts clashing.

    Instead, you’ve got the top two remaining fighters in the tournament fighting in the first round. That means either Werdum or Overeem step down in competition when they go to the semi-final, since both guys are considered a tougher test than Silva. If that isn’t bad enough, whoever wins the semi-final fight steps down in competition yet again when they go to the championship, because the other side of the bracket has the #5-#8 seeds (why did they do that?).

    It’s like watching a tournament in reverse. The fights get easier and easier as you work your way towards the championship, rather than getting harder.

    • IronMonkeyNHB says:

      Your logic is a bit flawed there IceMuncher. The tournament decides who is the toughest, not the initial seeds. And how has the tournament “lost its luster” when the brackets are still the same? Obviously your point is, that the seeds were alligned wrong in the first place. I don´t see how the tournament lost its luster for you NOW, when nothing really has changed. Also als this talk about opponents getting easier, etc. – we all thought Fedor got an easy fight against Silva, how did that end up? The tournament can bare more suprises. People complain too damn much.


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